Tv Review: Mister Winner Series 1 Episode 6

mister winner s1e6 indexI gave the first episode of this Spencer Jones sitcom a reasonably negative review as I was disappointed with the way it stretched out a fairly thin joke (where Spencer has to fake playing a piano) for twenty odd minutes and did very little amusing with it, and though the cast were appealing it felt like the show wasted them a little. I’ve dipped in and out of the series since and found it amiable and watchable, but nothing more than that, which is rather strange considering how amazing Jones and his co-star Lucy Pearman’s live shows are.

But a good and normally trustworthy friend suggested I give it one final shot, and as with all comedy I really tried my very best to find it funny, to work out why others liked it when I didn’t. Sadly I didn’t get on with it once again however, and struggle to understand why others do as well, there’s one laugh out loud moment about ten minutes in where Jones’ Leslie Winner has left a bath running and so filled the room with foam, but the rest of it is a selection of very subdued minor set pieces that don’t contain anything that laughable in them.

The main one is that on the day of their wedding Leslie gets his finger stuck in a hole in the castle (or Tudor gatehouse at least) where he and Jemma (Lucy Pearman) were due to be married. It’s something of a self-fulfilling prophecy as she’d spent the whole episode in tears, worried that Leslie was somehow going to mess up their wedding, and that he was too optimistic when she was something of a pessimist, only for him to eventually win her round but then screw up, even if it really wasn’t particularly his fault.

It’s an oddly and weirdly low key sitcom, when stuck with his finger in the wall there’s some minor physical comedy as he tries to escape but most of the time the idea isn’t played with in anything even coming close to an amusing way. It’s an ongoing aspect seemingly, as early on where Leslie eats a dog treat but it’s underplayed and so not that funny, and that’s also the case where he puts on his suit only to discover it’s too small – but other than pulling the odd face and looking briefly daft it’s not developed upon, and soon enough it’s revealed that there’s just been a mix up and he’s got his cousin’s suit on by accident.

At least Lucy Pearman gets to do more in this final episode as she’s given the chance to flex her acting muscles in a few dramatic scenes as she panics about her potential future, but it’s not something I found myself that interested in. And if you’re really fond of these thinly sketched out characters than witnessing them get married might be an emotive moment, but if you don’t, well, it’s just another selection of scenes which you’ll find yourself not minding, but also not really caring about either.

I really don’t want to be too harsh on the show, there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with it, but it repeatedly takes a scenario which could lead to amusement but then just doesn’t do anything that funny or inventive with it. While normally I’d hope that a second series might resolve the problems the first had but it seems a deliberate choice to be such a mundane affair, so in this case I hope it isn’t given one and the cast go on to bigger and far better things instead.

★★

Alex Finch.
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Related Links:
Our review of Mister Winner Series 1 Episode 1.
If based in the UK you can currently watch the series on BBC iPlayer here.

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